Zelensky speaks out as US stand-off imperils war effort.
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Zelensky speaks out as US stand-off imperils war effort.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion began, Ukraine has faced some of its most difficult days.

US and EU efforts to agree on fresh weapons and financial aid have stalled, and the counteroffensive appears to have stalled. The Israeli-Gaza war also diverts world attention.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Moscow was waiting for the US and Europe to show weakness after a package of US aid became embroiled in Congressional squabbles.

In a video meeting of Western leaders from the G7, he said, “Russia hopes that the free world’s consolidation will collapse next year.”

President Joe Biden called on Congress to “do the right thing”. He said, “This can’t wait.”.

The mood in Kyiv is outwardly positive – and there is a sense of defiance – but there is also a darker side to the city.

It has become a bit harder to believe that the Ukrainian capital will win,” says Iryna, who is standing with her husband Oleksandr on Kontraktova Square.”We’re walking now on this square, remembering how we celebrated the new year here a few years ago with a symphony orchestra.

We badly want this to return to our lives and for Ukraine to win. We really need help from abroad, since it’s very hard.”

On Tuesday, Zelensky abruptly canceled a virtual meeting with US lawmakers.

It came ahead of a possible Senate vote on Wednesday on an aid package that seems doomed to failure.

In the $105bn (£83bn; €97bn) spending bill, $61bn will go to Ukraine, while the rest will go to Israel, Taiwan, and the US southern border.

Republicans, however, may oppose it due to bickering over border measures during the meeting that featured Mr Zelensky.